UPMC Looking To Expand Testing To Other Parts Of State

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — As the Coronavirus spreads throughout the nation, and even right here in Western Pennsylvania, health organizations along with hospitals are preparing.

Now that UPMC has announced that they are doing their own testing and setting up testing sites, they are looking to expand their reach in other parts of the state.

Right now, they’ve seen about 25 symptomatic positive case in their healthcare system.

Only 4 are in the hospital.

Meanwhile, there have been concerns raised about elective surgeries by some employees, saying it could expose them to the virus.

But UPMC doctors say everyone has adequate protection and equipment to keep themselves safe.

They say the governor’s ordered stop all non-life-sustaining business does not mean to stop elective surgeries that are necessary care.

On a positive note, doctors say based on their study, we are not seeing widespread of the virus in the area.

“We’re not seeing widespread community transmission yet and there’s no evidence that Pittsburgh is becoming a center or a cluster of activity like we’ve seen in so many other cities. But that doesn’t mean that anyone should let down that guard,” UPMC Dr. John Williams said. “The virus is readily transmitted and it’s still a public health threat.”

The doctors say everyone should keep up the social distancing and heed the orders from health officials.

If there becomes an increase in the number of patients with COVID-19, the hospital system says they can increase the number of beds available by 25-40 percent. They currently have about 5,500 available beds.